Though 20th Century Fox just pushed its adaptation of the James Dashner YA novel The Maze Runner from this coming February to September 19, 2014, the studio is apparently pretty happy with the results of the Wes Ball-directed film. Deadline reports that Fox has now acquired the rights to the second novel in the four-book series, The Scorch Trials, and has hired T.S. Nowlin to get to work on the screenplay. The sequel has yet to be greenlit, but it’s now become commonplace for studios to begin scriptwork on the follow-up to a potential franchise-starter before it hits theaters. It panned out with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but in the case of The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, the box office disaster of the first film led Constantin Films to rethink its strategy.
Ball will be supervising Nowlin’s adaptation of The Scorch Trials, which signals that Fox is keen on him returning to direct the follow-up. The first film stars Dylan O’Brien in the lead role and concerns a group of teens who wake up to find themselves trapped in a massive maze with seemingly no way out.